Teeth Can Cause Sinus Problems

In a recent case study, a patient was having a lot of problems in her sinuses. The medical EENT physician did a thorough investigation of the patient’s sinuses along with blood tests.  He finally worked out that the problems was coming from a tooth, an upper molar.

From an anatomical standpoint, the roots of the upper teeth are right next to the sinuses. So, for example, if you have a sinus infection, the upper teeth can hurt during that time from any movement like jogging. I’ve personally had this experience while having sinus problems, and I’m sure glad I knew about this connection.

The patient had an evaluation by an endodontist. He noticed the abscess on the x-ray, indicating that the nerve inside the tooth is dead.  The recommended treatment is to have root canal therapy performed on the afflicted tooth.  This treatment was in fact performed and ameliorated the symptoms the patient was having.

As you might surmise, sinus problems can be a tricky business in the diagnosis, especially when you consider that the dentist usually looks in the mouth and the medical doctor rarely looks there. The patient has to start somewhere, and eventually we’ll get to the teeth if needed.

Also keep in mind that having root canals can create some side effects in the sinus. If not done properly, debris inside the canals can be pushed into the sinuses and provide bacteria for infection.  So, it’s important to keep tabs on pain and swelling and get it looked at promptly in case an unusual condition is developing.